Renouncing U.S. Citizenship – Second thoughts
You better be careful what you wish for, you must might get it!
The internet is abuzz with discussion about U.S. citizens wishing to expatriate.
So, far the comments have been dominated by:
– those who desire to to renounce U.S. citizenship
– those who are desperate to demonstrate that they lost their U.S. citizenship when they became citizens of another country
– those who are basking in the glow of knowing they are no longer U.S. citizens
But, there is anther side. Are there people who renounced U.S. citizenship and are now regretting it?
I received the following message from somebody who recently renounced U.S. citizenship:
I renounced US citizenship for a variety of reasons (a year ago) and am feeling more and more like did I make a mistake. I think things are horrible in the US but it seems so hard to find a place that is both open to immigrants and that offers me some of the opportunity I definitely experienced in the US. My family wants me to go back so much, but I really am opposed to so much of what the US is doing both in the US and without. But I am really struggling with doubts and fighting depression over my situation.
Any advice for building a support network? Thank you so much.
What are your thoughts on this? What advice would you give this person? Should there be a support group for those who have renounced U.S. citizenship? Many believe that renouncing U.S. citizenship will be the end of their problems. Will it be the beginning of a new set of problems?
I sold my house in 2009. I live with my boy friend. We do not claim common law as he has kids who will get everything when he dies. I have my one son who will get all I have when I die. I have been reluctant to buy a house because of FATCA. We share no accounts or bills.
My long time best friend would like to downsize her home and sell and we thought of buying a home together. She lives a good few hours drive where I used to live. In the event my boyfriend dies or we break up (no plans to) I will move to where she lives. I lived in that area for decades. I ended up where I am now because of grief and stress due to the deaths of my husband and son.
It is hard to fit in where you are an outsider when you are older and the area where you live is small town. I understand how recent renouncers could have doubts and regrets.
I never regretted coming to Canada and becoming a Canadian citizen. I cried alot BEFORE leaving the USA, but loved Canada the first day I arrived. Of course I was young, with my husband and were already had a baby on the way. I choose Canada to be my country to live and die in.
Is it wise to buy a house at this time? Will my girlfriend become an American person if we share a mortgage? I could put my savings into it. Will FATCA affect me on this?
@ US citizen abroad
Good luck on Friday.
I left my cell phone in car when I went to Toronto US counsel to apply for My CLN. (I became Canadian citizen in 1993). I had to check my car remote. I was nervous. This was in June. I am waiting for that precious paper. I am hoping it will come and come soon.
Don’t let US tax concerns stop you from making what could be a very good investment into your future. My husband and I were badly stung by the IRS on the sale of our home only because we weren’t aware of our US tax filing obligations at the time of sale. It might be worth a short consultation with a lawyer to get the facts and free you to address some of the other things concerning you about buying at this time.
Only a Canadian says:
“I left the US as a young man in the early 70s and became a Canadian citizen as soon as I met the residency requirements. At the time I did that I was made to understand I was losing my US Citizenship by becoming Canadian. I was, at the time quite happy to give up my US citizenship as I believed I was definitely ‘trading up’. Now decades later, I am quite sure I ‘traded up’ and I don’t have the slightest regret. In fact I view my CLN as one of the most valuable documents I have, perhaps second only to my Canadian Citizenship Certificate.
Having said that, I realize everyone has their own perspective and circumstances. I however, have no second thoughts about my decision at all.”
Having gotten my Canadian citizenship in 1971, I could have written these exact words. My feelings exactly!
If you have second thoughts on having assets in the US and consider renting property out, that is your decision. Information given at Isaac Brock is for readers to contemplate in making their own decisions, including what they may take from Canadian Finance Minister Flaherty’s letter.
Perhaps now is the time for you to get the opinion of a competent professional US tax lawyer to determine your own decisions are not foolhardy.
@Calgary and @Money, for what it’s worth, my accountant recommended that it’s much harder for the IRS to go after assets held completely outside the United States because they’d have to pursue collections through the foreign courts. They’d thus focus on egregious cases. No money or property located within the US=being less of a low-hanging fruit; becoming a NRA via expatriation makes one even less of a low hanging fruit.
I understand that even after I file my final tax return, FBAR and my 8854 that there will still be a three year SOL on my 2013 tax return and six year SOL on my final FBAR; am not sure if the 8854 form itself has a three or six year statute of limitations. Nevertheless, even if it was all six years, at least I’d know that I was finally out of their system by sometime in 2020. But again, though I believe renouncing and filing 8854 makes one more likely to be audited, I’d still guess that their main focus will be very rich expatriates or those guilty of blatant tax evasion.
I don’t believe anyone posting on were or Maple will be pursued if they’ve paid any taxes due and made a good faith effort to be fully compliant.
I may be wrong, but I think “money” was referring to property in the US that he contemplates renting out. He has gotten a lot of feedback here and continues his questions, perhaps better and more safely answered by a legal professional.
Each time I feel the ever-diminishing vestigial twinges regarding US citizenship, the universe delivers up another impossible to ignore reminder of why it is so urgent and necessary to expatriate.
I think the nostalgia and sadness of remembering our American days are clouded with an imperfect memory of the golden day that are a bit like Walt Disney’s portrayal of US history. .
I often get those chain emails of remembering the good old days of parades, clothespins on baseball cards on bike wheels, S & H stamps, mom home when you got home from school, milk men, Bond Bread men coming to our doors.
Those old days also had a bigger middle class with many people working union jobs that paid a living wage.
Now those days are gone. Mothers work, Unions are shrinking. It is getting to be a very hard country to live in.
Everyday I read the news of our mother country I thank myself for leaving when I did and becoming a Canadian. For me it was a very wise decision. I came with my late husband and we had two sons. One is deceased now for almost 14 years and the other is in England. I have a few very close friends here.Sometimes I feel alone but then that moment passes. I have no regrets. I know that I could adapt to a new country and that I can adapt to loss of my loved ones. I became a stronger person doing it.
But I could never change my beliefs. That is something I can not adapt to. I believe that Canada is the better country, Hopefully other Canadians will work to keep it that way . We must stand on guard for our Canada.
@ Bruce Newton and Only a Canadian
Ditto for me, in spades. In fact, double-ditto on behalf of my wife.
@monalisa1776 and others. Indeed, all taxing entities take the low hanging fruit. It’s an informal calculation to get the biggest buck for the bang.
I’m not nostalgic about getting back my US citizenship at all. Obviously there is a disadvantage there. However, I am incredibly familiar with the geography and people of the west coast. If ever I want to live there again, I will. I know the ins and outs. I even have my old SSN, if it comes to that. I am older and wiser and know how to play the game after this whole experience, and feel ahead of it now that I dont feel behind the 8 ball. You know what I mean?